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How Sean Connery Became James Bond

When Sean Connery was given the role of James Bond in the first film of the series in 1962 he was a world away from the character envisioned by writer Ian Fleming. Fleming came from an enormously privileged background and this was reflected in the sophisticated tastes of his hero, who had first appeared in the novel "Casino Royale" in 1953.

Connery, on the other hand was very much a working class Scot, whose paternal grandparents landed in Scotland in the mid nineteenth century from Ireland. Connery's father was a factory worker and lorry driver while his mother worked as a cleaner; on leaving school his first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh and it is reported that his deliveries included Fettes, where James Bond is supposed to have been educated after being expelled from Eton.

After a stint in the navy, from which he was discharged on medical grounds, Connery went back to his old job; afterwards he was to try his hand as a lorry driver, lifeguard, labourer, an artist's model and a coffin polisher.

As a keen body builder he entered in the Mr Universe competition in the early 1950s, although the exact year is a matter of debate. However, another competitor mentioned that there were auditions for a production of "South Pacific" taking place; Connery landed a small part in the production, the start of his acting career.

In the late 1950s Connery started to get some parts in films, including "Action of the Tiger", directed by Terrence Young, who also directed three of the Bond movies including the first, "Dr No".

When the producers of "Dr No" were looking to cast an actor to play James Bond they came across Sean Connery. While there was some doubt about him, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli's wife Dana is often credited with persuading her husband to pick Connery after seeing him in the Disney fantasy "Darby O'Gill and the Little People".

Ian Fleming was not impressed either, but meeting Connery for lunch one day Fleming's female companion insisted that he had what the role needed.

Director Terrence Young took helped get into shape as Bond, teaching him how to wear his suit so it looked like it belonged to him, how to walk and move and how he should act in every possible social situation.

When the film was premiered in London in 1962 it was a massive success and a follow up assured. And not only were audiences impressed by his performance as 007; by the time of"Dr No" being released Fleming had changed his mind about Sean Connery completely. In his next book, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Fleming revealed that Bond was, in fact, born to a Scottish father and Swiss mother!

The next James Bond film is called "Skyfall" and due out at the end of October 2012. Click here for our "Skyfall" page or keep up to date with the latest Skyfall news at The James Bond Dossier:

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How Silent Comedies Portrayed Social Inequality

Charles Chaplin

In nineteen fifteen, Charles Chaplin starred in "The Tramp". It was a black and white silent film. Where,his character wore a suit with ripped sleeves. Dusty, dirty and carrying only a knapsack, he portrayed his tramp as a higher classed gentleman. The movie had not only humor. The storyline touched on other emotions as well.

After saving a woman from some hobo robbers, the tramp went to the farmhouse where she lived. While there, her father offered to hire him. Scene after scene showed how the tramp fared with the farm tools. In a sense, a tramp wondered the countryside.

The movie made a social statement about the time when farm workers shared a room and meals. Although, they were paid very little. Therefore, the sun-up to sun-down working life did not suit his tramp character very well.

The movie glorified a tramp's lifestyle to a point that it seemed a much better way to live than working so hard for so little. Living a lonely existence, the tramp depended upon the kindness of others sometimes for a meal.

By the movie's ending, the tramp made the decision whether to stay laboring at the farm or to head back down the road. It was for him the most important choice of his life.

Buster Keaton

In nineteen twenty, Buster Keaton starred in a black and white silent comedy "The Saphead" as Bertie. His character was the Idle son of a Wall Street Mogul. Instead of tolling all day in a Wall Street office,Bertie preferred drinking and gambling all night.

Bertie confessed his love for his father's ward, Agnes to his sister, Rose and his valet, Henry.

Rose's husband Mark an attorney had his own plans for control of his father-in-law's mining stock. Also, Mark was involved with a mistress named Henrietta. After she died, Bertie was blamed for the love child that Mark and she produced. His father forbade Bertie from marrying Agnes and disowned him.

Bertie had to drastically change his life in order to marry Agnes. With the last of the money his father gave him. He bought a seat on the stock exchange. The movie showed the other side of the coin for Bertie. He now faced the ultimate challenge of his life. The question remained would he still get to marry Agnes with his father's approval.

Toward the movie's end, it showed what goes up must surely come down. At least, it did on Wall Street. The movie also highlighted schemes,betrayal and the threat of being wiped-out and then winning it all back again.

Harold Lloyd

Nineteen twenty-two, Harold Lloyd the bespectacled character in the silent film "Safety Last" known as The Boy. He worked as a sales clerk in a department store. Harold pulled many stunts to keep from getting into trouble with the floorwalker, Mr.Stubbs. Harold sent his girlfriend expensive gifts. He even promoted himself to general manager in order to impress her.

The movie also dealt with his working class challenges. Since tardiness was frowned upon, the movie had some face paced scenes. It showed Harold hanging onto a streetcar, hopping into automobiles, riding in the back of an ambulance so that he can make it to work on time.

Harold's famous scene, he dangled off a skyscraper above traffic in order to attract business to the department store. The movie was highly acclaimed. It also placed Harold Lloyd alongside other silent comedy actor greats. Like most of the silent comedies of that time, they mirrored the emotions of a movie goers life. Sometimes being silent speaks volumes.

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I Want My Analog TV Back

I had held out longer than most when it came to buying my first HDTV. Now I wish I had held out longer. I now think I want my old analog TV back.

All of this started when I received a letter from my cable TV company to notify me that, in early June, they are going to be adding a ton of new HD channels to their lineup. Now although my community is serviced by the largest cable TV company in the U.S. that I refer to as the Big C (no, not that Big C, the other Big C), we have, up to this point, had the channel choices of those who live out in sticks. Yes, this is the company that owns the company that owns NBC, and until a few months ago, we had just 60 channels to choose from.

Now if I lived in Richmond, I would have already pretty much had the same selection of channels and technology as residents of Washington, Philadelphia, and New York have. The same would likely be true if I lived in one of the counties immediately surrounding Richmond. But since I live 24 entire miles to the southeast, that cable company's much ballyhooed video-on-demand (VOD) services didn't arrive in my neck of the woods until last October. And that's when we got our first taste of high definition - with six local HD channels becoming available.

Being the late adopter that I am, there was no way I was going to run out and buy an HDTV to get six local channels. But that letter stating that we would soon be getting the full complement of HD choices (to include a multitude of VOD movies and TV shows) was enough to convince me to finally make the leap. Therefore, I decided to replace the older of my two analog sets with a sparkling new HDTV in preparation for the blessed event.

Anyway, I found a great deal on one from Amazon and submitted my order. As do most things I have ordered from Amazon, it arrived well prior to the time frame in which I was promised. In this case, I got it in two days, after I was promised that it would arrive in five to eight business days. Definitely no complaints there. Shortly thereafter, I donated my old analog TV to Goodwill in exchange for a small tax deduction.

The following Saturday, I stopped by my cable company's local office and picked up my new HD converter. When I finally got everything hooked up, I was very impressed with my HD channels. I was able to see details that I never seen before on TV, to include the thin pin stripes in men's suits and the pock marks on people's faces. Now I can understand why some major TV personalities dreaded the arrival of HDTV.

But the standard definition channels on my HDTV were a completely different story. Yes, I knew they wouldn't be as sharp as the HDTV channels, but I figured they would at least look as good as the channels on my seven-year-old analog TV. Um... wrong answer! They looked... well... I guess the technical term for it would be... crappy! The images on those channels range from fuzzy to fading. In fact, some of those channels remind of me of certain horror movies I've seen, in which people's faces have melted off.

I'm still working with the cable company to detect the source of this problem. Is it my TV? Is it my HDMI cable? Is it my HD cable converter? Is it something else? I hope I'll get his resolved soon. I really wouldn't be too concerned if I knew all the channels would soon be available in high definition. But many of them, as well as much of the VOD programming, probably won't be switching over to HD for a couple of years, at least.

In the meantime, if we can't get this resolved, I'm going to have to endure that kind of crappy picture on my TV? Heaven forbid. I wonder if someone has bought my old analog TV from the Goodwill store yet.

Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, amateur political analyst, and blogger from Hopewell, VA. On his blog - - he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.

You can now have any article and blog post he writes - in advance, if you would like - for use in your book, newspaper, magazine, ezine, newsletter, website, or whatever!! This includes the thousands of articles and blog posts he's previously written. Contact him via his blog for details.

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It's a Knockout

Its's a Knockout TV Series

The iconic television series It's a Knockout had an illustrious innings. Beginning in the UK in 1966, it transmitted its last show in 2001. In one special programme, it even had members of the British royal family, Princes Andrew and Edward, Princess Anne and Fergie, as team leaders.

Despite its British team character and typically Anglo-saxon slapstick humour, the series was the brainchild of French Premier Charles de Gaulle, who mooted the European version of the series, Jeux San Frontieres, as a way of uniting European nations in friendship and fun. It even provided the inspiration for Peter Gabriel's song Games without Frontiers, a eulogy to the TV phenomenon.

In the UK, the show hosted 3 teams each week, for example Bristol, Bath and Minehead, all hotly competing for the much sought after 'Tip Top Town Trophy'. The programme billed itself as 'an inter-town contest of skill and strength' and the population of Britain collectively tuned in to watch. In its heyday, in the 70s and 80s, the show boasted audiences of up to 16 million.

As the theme tune 'Bean bag' by Herb Alpert and Tijuanna Brass started playing, people knew that they were in for madness, mayhem and a right good laugh. The teams competed against each other in obstacle races and silly versions of games lifted from the Olympics, school sports days and the producer's fertile imagination.

The competitors always had to wear costumes and these were usually enormous. The huge feet and giant bodies and heads made the racers cumbersome and clumsy and hilariously liable to fall over.

There were relay races, massive rubber inflatables and vast quantities of foam and water, for slipping, sliding and generally getting dunked in. Part of the show's appeal was its jolly, colourful, slapstick and custard pie nature, but perhaps the main factor in its success was the eccentric presenter Stuart Hall, whose infectious laugh sent audiences, and himself, into peals of uncontrollable laughter. If teams did well, they could compete for Great Britain in Jeux Sans Frontieres.

With a bigger budget, and an even bigger audience, the show featured ever more outlandish costumes and fancier props. One game featured giant Frankenstein chasing a flower-planting damsel in a mini-dress and the immortal line "just a friendly tap and he's fractured her skull, but never mind". With penguin suits, revolving platforms, plenty of competitors getting utterly soaked and a punchline of "here come the Belgians", it was a runaway Saturday night success.

For the Brits, as with all great British endeavours, it was the taking part that counted. Love it or loathe it, it was ground breaking TV and it epitomised the best of British spirit in a nutshell.

It's a Knockout further information can be found at Its a Knockout Bristol.

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Jim Parsons: Stage, Screen and Television

Jim Parsons' role of Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory may be the only place you've ever seen him. But Parsons is a stage-trained actor who's been in plays since the age of six. Parsons has received two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, a Critics' Choice TV Award and a Television Critics Association award for playing Sheldon Cooper.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, he appeared in Noises Off in his junior year of high school. At the University of Houston he appeared in 17 plays in three years. After graduation he moved to New York, working on off-Broadway and in TV appearances.

While The Big Bang Theory was on hiatus in 2011, Parsons was on Broadway in The Normal Heart. From May until August of 2012, he's starring in Harvey. He's remarked that he has never seen Harvey on stage, nor has he seen the James Stewart movie. It's his 30th stage appearance.

He's also appeared in 11 films. Two were cameos. The Big Bang Theory is Parsons' 10th TV series. You can't really call them all his series, since he appeared in only one episode of six shows. He has said he auditioned for between 15 and 30 pilots. Sometimes when he was cast, the shows weren't picked up by networks. But that's how you work your way up.

The role of Sheldon Cooper changed everything. The character is a scientist and a genius, having completed college in his teens. He's surrounded by three nerdy friends whom he constantly criticizes. He is obsessive about routine, especially certain dinners on certain days of the week, and he's very upset with any change. The waitress who lives across the hall confuses him, since he's the only one in the group not attracted to her, and he never understands sarcasm from her or anyone else. Despite his narcissistic personality, he is devoid of social skills, and he intensely dislikes being touched. (He's virginal at 31.) He spouts arcane scientific details -- and his own opinions -- in rapid-fire speech. This is undoubtedly a big reason for his Emmys. The scripts must be incredibly challenging.

Fans are fascinated by the difference between Jim and Sheldon. Jim smiles a lot more than Sheldon does. Actually, Sheldon practically never does. He has an almost nonexistent sense of humor. Parsons was hilarious on a recent interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. (Harvey will close in August..."get your tickets now!") His Emmy acceptance speeches were humble and grateful. And he smiled!

He loved school, and he loves his career now. He's worked hard for his success.

Are you a fan of The Big Bang Theory? Did you know that Jim Parsons, who's won two Emmys, has been a stage actor since the age of six?

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Men In Black 3 Movie Review

Well, it's been ten long years since Agents J and K showed off their intergalactic protection skills in Men In Black 2, and given that the film didn't exactly win rave reviews, you can't blame anyone for being a little skeptical about the likelihood of a third installment being memorable. Luckily, I am always willing to give Will Smith the benefit of the doubt, and I'm happy to report that he and the entire cast made it worth my time.

THE GOOD: In order to go forward in this story, we have to go backwards... meaning time travel to the past; the summer of 1969, to be exact, when astronauts were preparing to walk on the moon and the Mets were poised to win the World Series. Another newsworthy event was Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) putting a foul looking alien by the name of Boris behind bars---in a prison on the moon, no less. But 40 years later, Boris has busted out of his lunar lockup and has managed to sneak through the space time continuum in an effort to find K and kill him. It's all up to J (Will Smith) to go back in time and put Boris out of commission, before he can achieve his goal. Oh, and J also needs to keep himself from getting left in 1969 as well... yes, it's sort of a "Back to the Future" twist, and it may not be as ingenious of an idea as it seemed 25 years ago, but for all intents and purposes, it works. As you can imagine, there is a social commentary to be made with J going back in time as a black man, and Smith delivers some great attitude at perfect moments when small minded people speak without thinking.

As much as I adore Will Smith however, the scene stealer in this movie is without a doubt Josh Brolin, who not only plays the younger version of Agent K, but NAILS it. There's no debating that Tommy Lee Jones has a very unique presence and mannerism, so for someone to be able to capture that with such flawlessness, it is award worthy in my opinion. From his facial expressions to his accent and timing, everything was spot on... and hilarious. Adding to that fun, we have the alien character Griffin (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) who is a sweet and perpetually anxious little creature, and has the dubious gift of seeing the future----or rather the equal possibility of several different futures, some positive and some not so much. With his misty blue eyes, Elmer Fudd wool hat, and innocent childlike responses, he might come across as goofy to some, but I adored him.

THE BAD: I can only assume that in order to capitalize on how amazing Josh Brolin is in this role, efforts were made to keep Will Smith's character from shining too brightly. Or at least, that's what ends up happening. Usually Agent J is so full of sarcasm and attitude that the laughs are pretty constant... this time around, it took almost 45 minutes for Will to have a laugh worthy moment, at least for me personally. This isn't to say that Smith isn't his usual great talent, but be prepared that he doesn't pack nearly the punch in this installment as he did in the first two.

THE UGLY: I'm torn really, as to what the most hideous part of this movie was, but I certainly have it narrowed down to two contenders: the first being Boris (Jemaine Clement) in general---this guy just brings repulsive to a whole new level---but it's his teeth specifically that had me completely nauseated. It was like an entire mouth full of giant yellow molars and reminded me of the scary monsters I imagined as a little girl. Of course none of those creatures were ever making out with a woman in black leather pants in my imagination---which brings us to contender number 2. If there is anything more disturbing than a monster like man with bad dental work, it would be watching that same man sticking his tongue in a woman's mouth. Shudder. It's like I'm a five year old girl again, with a whole new scary image to keep me awake at night.

It's a generally accepted fact that the Men In Black Franchise started off strong, then hit a low with MIB2. There will be those who won't be willing to give MIB3 a chance because they fear things will only get worse... the surprise is that, as sequels go, this one is actually worth seeing, not only because of Brolin's performance, but the touching surprise twist at the end that explains J and K's relationship.

The Trophy Wife gives this movie 3 ½ trophies.

Men In Black 3 has a running time of 106 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and brief suggestive content. No F words.

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Movie Review of Dark Shadows

If you haven't noticed, there's sort of a big vampire craze going on right now in the entertainment industry, so you can't really blame Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for their attempt at joining in the fun. If you are hung up on your undead being of the sparkly and smoldering variety, however, you'll have to stick with Young Adult fiction-----these characters are darker and a little less likely to end up on a poster on your tween daughter's bedroom door.

THE GOOD: The story begins in the 1700's, with the Collins family leaving Liverpool, England for America, and settling in what will soon become Collinsport, Maine. Joshua Collins (Ivan Kaye) establishes a thriving seaport town, and soon uses his family fortune to build a mansion for his wife and young son, Barnabas. When a household servant (Eva Green) falls in love with the grown Barnabas (played by Depp), and is rejected by him, we learn she is a vindictive witch----literally----and unleashes a curse on the Collins family, turning the young Collins heir into a vampire who is then buried alive. Fast forward 200 years to 1972, when Barnabas rises from his grave intent on restoring his family's name and estate to their former glory.

The younger generation will be mostly oblivious to the fact that this film is a remake of the 40 year old daytime drama of the same name, although Burton's adaptation is undoubtedly stranger and more risque than anything that ever appeared on daytime television in the 60's. To his credit, Tim Burton always manages to bring the "creepy" factor to his films and this is no exception. Most of it is very tongue in cheek, so there's very little chance of anyone being traumatized or having nightmares afterwards, but as previously mentioned, Depp's vampire character is unmistakably NOT a high school heartthrob, so you won't be having teenage girls and middle aged women losing their minds over his dreaminess.......Well, alright---it IS Johnny Depp.....the guy makes just about any character look good, and I will be the first to admit that he even makes a pale corpse with long dirty fingernails look shockingly desirable. His deadpan responses and comedic timing is charming as well. And, as we have all come to expect in Tim Burton movies, there are plenty of other dysfunctional characters to help us feel uncomfortable and entertained.

THE BAD: If you have had your fill of Depp/Burton movies, then you will probably want to skip this one, simply because it feels pretty much like all the other Depp/Burton movies before it. There is certainly a large movie going fanbase that have NOT tired of this duo, and I suppose for argument's sake, I reside in that camp. I realize right off that I probably won't be seeing a film that will be renknowned for much of anything except some general weirdness, a few dark laughs, and Depp in his many wonderous incarnations of male splendor. But sometimes that's perfectly sufficient for me. And I suppose that in the end, that is what the actual downside of this move amounts to: It isn't particularly notable, it's just sufficient entertainment for an evening.

THE UGLY: I'll get directly to the point---for all the screen time filled with vampires, witches, and other hideous cast members, the grand prize goes to the cameo appearance of Alice Cooper. As a friend of mine so eloquently put it:: "Seeing Alice Cooper perform live in 1972 would probably have been was a lot less cool seeing Alice Cooper as a 64 year old man performing in a movie set in 1972." I'm not even sure I would agree with the first part of that statement, but the last part was dead on.

For all the hype about this movie, the best I can do is tell you that, because I never actually watched the original show, I have no idea if fans of the former daytime drama will be pleased or disappointed with this version. My older sister, who grew up with the show and went to the movie with me, said they got a lot of things right, so that's certainly saying something. And let's face it, there are worse things to do with your evening than staring at Johnny Depp.

The Trophy Wife gives this movie 2 ½ trophies.

Dark Shadows has a running time of 113 minutes and is rated PG-13 for comic horror, violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking.

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Movie Review: Men in Black III (3) (2012)

The necessity of a third Men in Black movie is questionable, but one could envision an opportunity to capitalize on the witty chemistry between Will Smith's Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones' Agent K while also escalating the inevitably alien antagonist. Yet Men in Black III instead opts to change the formula by swapping out the cranky older man for a stern younger version in a stale time travel adventure. Plus, the villain is more devoid of personality than expected, even given the series' predictable downward progression. Smith does get some good one-liners and Josh Brolin admirably mimics the surly K, but missed opportunities abound, especially considering the potential of the time period, the historic events and the two agents meeting again for the first time.

When dangerous alien assassin Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from his high security prison on the moon, Men in Black Agent J (Will Smith) is ready to pursue the criminal. But his longtime partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), distraught over his volatile and secretive past with the convict, seems unwilling to let J help apprehend him. Boris discovers a way to travel back in time to kill K and rewrite history, forcing J to also journey into the past to save both his partner's younger self (Josh Brolin) and the rest of the world from a hostile alien invasion.

With the unfortunate mediocrity of Men in Black II, lending heavily to the 10-year gap between movies, director Barry Sonnenfeld needed to pull out all the stops for the close of the trilogy. He needed a clever script, hilarious jokes, new character actors for noteworthy appearances, updated special effects, and show stopping alien creations. Yet none of these seemingly essential elements actually make it into the film. Instead, audiences are given the same level of averageness as the previous entry. Josh Brolin is the only standout inclusion, expertly portraying a young Agent K by donning Tommy Lee Jones' mannerisms, idioms, personality, and secret agent argot. The chemistry remains consistent, utilizing the humor derived from J inhabiting astonishment at bizarre alien insanities while K accepts it all as normality. Neither one is as enthusiastic as in the first movie, however, losing most of the quirkiness and biting contrast that made them such a watchable duo. And the more we see Brolin adopting the ruse, the less we see Jones in the role that suits him so perfectly. It's almost as if Jones makes a cameo and was then written out of the script.

"Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to," states Agent K and Agent O throughout the film. This cryptic attitude compels a canny conclusion, but frustration more frequently. The list continues. A sense of randomness and spontaneity spills onto the scenes while concepts and visuals are grossly unfulfilled. The villain couldn't be more uninspiring, resorting to a touch of weirdness, unexplained idiosyncrasies, and dull makeup that never once utilizes Clement's talents; the plot revolves around the overused notion of the earth being in imminent danger; unrealistic physics betray poor conceptions even in a world of alien technology; and the entire race to save humanity relies on the 1969 moon launch to reach outer space - unforgivably ignoring the fact that intergalactic travel has already been established by the very existence of the MIB program (developed in the '50s). The brief K and J repertoire isn't nearly enough to sustain an entire movie, especially when its most memorable jokes still focus on the neuralyzer from the first film.

- The Massie Twins (

The Massie Twins are identical twin film critics who have been professionally reviewing movies full time for over 5 years, appearing on TV, radio, online and in print. They are members of the Phoenix Film Critics Society and the Internet Film Critic Society and their work can be seen at

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Movie Review: Prometheus (2012)

Director Ridley Scott originally intended on creating a prequel to his film Alien, but when the script writing began, he realized the wealth of material presented warranted its own separate tale (still set in the same universe, however). Such an undertaking led to copious speculation and extremely high expectations from fans for what would eventually become Prometheus. Yet for a film that supposedly merited severance from becoming a direct Alien precursor, the sequence of events in Prometheus are strikingly close to that of Scott's prior effort. In fact, certain segments seem designed specifically as a counterpart to the iconic moments now cemented in cinematic history. Unfortunately, none of these scenes come close to the shocking brilliance of those found in Alien, and while the atmospheric sets, awe-inspiring practical effects, and competent acting are present as they should be, don't expect to find the answers you're looking for - in either the notorious beasts' origins or the countless new questions raised that Scott clearly feels are better left unanswered.

When scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover clues on Earth that point to possible "engineers" of mankind, they partner with the powerful Weyland Corporation to launch an expedition into space to make contact with their creators. Governed by Weyland's stern attaché Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and accompanied by geologists, mercenaries, and the cryptic android David (Michael Fassbender), the crew of the spaceship Prometheus is instructed not to interact with any life forms they may encounter. But once the group reaches their destination of the moon LV-233 and discovers the remains of the beings they set out to find, avoiding exposure becomes impossible. As a deadly infection rapidly spreads and mysterious creatures begin attacking the crew, Elizabeth realizes the horrifying truth and must fight for her own life as well as the very fate of mankind.

The usually capable director has bitten off a bit more than he could chew with Prometheus, which attempts at different moments to be a great many things. Expectations are particularly high, since Scott became famous for Alien in 1979, and this film marks his return to the genre. At the beginning, he ventures into contemplating alternatives to the evolution of humankind with predominantly science-fiction philosophies; in the middle, he explores favorite themes such as the assault on feeble human flesh, the invasion of orifices, and genetic mutation - essential elements of gore for the sake of horror; and toward the conclusion, he opts for action-oriented thrills, packed with impressive CG wizardry and massive destruction. Each shift in genre disorients the story from having a clear vision, and the result is a mess of unresolved ideas and poorly defined beings (especially regarding the capabilities and function of the Engineers, their cargo, and subsequent anomalies).

Brandywine Productions, David Giler and Walter Hill as producers, the title font, notations of "LV_223," talk of company jobs, an android, a monstrous ship full of lonely corridors, hypersleep sickness, hidden agendas, sabotage, H.R. Giger's artwork, and advanced technology all harken the return of a familiar atmosphere. But while the environment, heaped with humidity, high-pitched noises, black muck, and slithery critters, remains reminiscent of Scott's original masterpiece, the plot progresses slowly and formulaically. A crew awakes from hypersleep, a bypass surgery medical pod is inspected, Jackson claims he's there for security purposes and brandishes weaponry, ship and helmet cameras feed crackling, static-filled transmissions, allochthonous walls glisten with slime, and an unsuccessful quarantine allows something to be brought back aboard the command ship. None of it is notably original and the sense of foreboding and foreshadowing is jeeringly blatant. Suspense arrives too late, horror is handled clumsily, and the poignancy of physical pain, understanding the purpose of the structures, and digesting answers to the mysteries of life is sorely neglected. The "space jockey" creation from Alien sparked an interesting question of origin and ancestry, but the solution is mightily underwhelming.

- The Massie Twins (

The Massie Twins are identical twin film critics who have been professionally reviewing movies full time for over 5 years, appearing on TV, radio, online and in print. They are members of the Phoenix Film Critics Society and the Internet Film Critic Society and their work can be seen at

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